I’ve been lucky enough in the last few months to catch the wave that is the producer/songwriter STVN. STVN makes pop, which is not my usual cup of tea but since his first track’s release, I’ve been amazed at his ability to make pop that is catchy and complex. His beats have reverberating keys over dusty drumbeats and his lyrics are unapologetically sugary.
STVN songs sport lines like “you’re my missing piece / you make me feel complete” that are so blushingly romantic that they take a certain charisma to pull off. Remarkably, in his latest collaboration with Hong Kong R&B musician Thomas Ng, the charisma is there. “Shadow Man” feels like a song from a Broadway musical, where the protagonist sings his heart out to the object of his affection, and she doesn’t even hear him.
The soft beat slinks around in your ears as Ng sings “I’ll be your shadow / go wherever you want to go.” This picture of undying devotion to a lover is particularly endearing and was perfect for the track’s February 14th release date. These are some sappy sentiments for sure, but Ng’s voice (sounding something like a mix of Frank Sinatra and Frank Ocean) is smooth enough to stick the landing.
Even more impressive is the fact that STVN and Thomas Ng have never met in person. Such a process could only happen in our digital age, where communication is easier and more streamlined than ever. This is a style that is sure to become the song-making status quo in the next couple of years. The two began their collaboration online and sent their parts to each other from completely different sides of the globe. Both members of the duet are perfectly suited for each other, and the radiant energy never dies as STVN and Ng trade verses. By writing a song together the two musicians have embarked upon an uncommon, but a successful challenge. Here’s hoping for more great music down the road.